TheBus still a bargain in era of rising prices
The city has no plans to increase bus fares as ridership continues to grow.
Honolulu bus fares appear to be bucking the trend of rising prices of almost everything in an economy buffeted by soaring fuel costs.
This might not last long, but for the time being, the city sees no need to pump up ticket fees, a good thing since more people are leaving their cars in their driveways to save money as gasoline gets more expensive by the day.
Ridership on TheBus in February hit the highest level since October 2003, which bus and city officials also attribute to increasingly crowded thoroughfares in urban Honolulu.
Even though diesel fuel is anticipated to cost $4.44 next month, up from $2.75 last July, officials say there are no plans to raise bus fares. The last increases came about five years ago when the City Council hiked single fares to $2 from $1.75 and monthly passes by $10 from $30.
Still, a $40 bus pass is a thrifty buy because it allows riders as many boardings as they want through the period and that same amount of cash would pay for less than 10 gallons of gasoline at current prices.
Also, getting people accustomed to hopping a bus primes them for the rail transit system the city hopes to have running in the years to come and more riders gives officials impetus to add more vehicles and more routes to the network.
Fares cover only about 30 percent of the cost of bus operations. Like most other transit systems around the country, TheBus is heavily subsidized by federal and city funding. However, the public benefits are worth the trade when considering the impact of private vehicles on traffic and the environment.
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